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huge star or other anamoly?

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mpdavid

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Hi. I just moved down to the Yucatan Pennisula. I have noticed a very large object in the south horizon. Probabably at about 30 degrees from horizontal plane. I asked a ****** friend of mine what he thought it was. He told me it was a star. I find this very hard to belief because it is so huge. With the naked eye it is probably an inch from top to bottom.
 
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harmonicaman

Guest
Are you sure this object is celestial rather terrestrial?<br /><br />When you say it's an inch long, do you mean to say that if you held a ruler at arms length this object would measure one inch on the ruler?<br /><br />Does it move as the Earth rotates?
 
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mpdavid

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the object is definitely celestial. And you are right if I hold my hand at arms length it is about an inch (probably a little less but definitly more than half an inch). <br /><br />I have only been watching it for four days and it is always in the same place.
 
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harmonicaman

Guest
How bright is this object (as compared to the other stars)?<br /><br />What shape (Spherical, irregular)?<br /><br />Could you be observing the Eta Carinae Nebula?
 
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mpdavid

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The object is bright it flashes red all through it and it is irregular in shape. It cannot be seen from Texas.
 
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2709

Guest
About what time is the object viewable?<br />I assume it tracks across the sky with the rest of the stars. What constellation is it near?<br />The galactic core rises in your SE around 3AM.<br />Sirius, the dog star shines brightly at about 15 - 20 deg earlier in the evening.<br />Omega Centauri is a pretty large and can be a naked eye object. <br /><br />Mike
 
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mpdavid

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It was there about 21:00 hours central time last night. I haven't seen it yet tonight.
 
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mpdavid

Guest
okay, It is not so big any more. it is directly under the middle star of orions belt. not only does it flash red but also blue, green yellow and white. It is about 25 degrees off the horizon.
 
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CalliArcale

Guest
If it's under the middle star of Orion's belt, it will be visible from Texas at some point in the night. Orion is completely visible in northern hemisphere evenings this time of year, even as far north as my location in Minnesota. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />It sounds to me like you're observing the best northern-hemisphere nebula in the entire sky: the Great Nebula in Orion, sometimes just called the Orion Nebula. The darker the skies, the better you can see it; it is not always visible in light-polluted skies, although it does a surprisingly good job of fighting the glare in some cities if the skies are especially clear. (It's that bright, in other words.) The noted astronomer Charles Messier designated it #42 on his chart of fuzzy objects that were not comets. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> So it's also called M-42.<br /><br />Here's a gorgeous image of it, quite possibly the best ever made. You will not see this with the naked eye; human eyes just aren't sensitive enough. This is basically a very long exposure made by combining multiple images.<br /><br />Orion Nebula: The Hubble View <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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mpdavid

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the object was at about 20 degrees from the horzon and a bearing of about 190 last night at 8:30. Orions belt was well over 45 degrees from the horizon.<br /><br />That picture was spectacular. Thank You.
 
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dragon04

Guest
I know from having been in lower latitudes, that the apparent size of the full moon can be far larger at moonrise than where I live, but I don't recall that phenomenon ocurring with celestial objects.<br /><br />At least not enough for the Orion Nebula to appear as large as he described. If that's the case, I miss some excellent night sky sights. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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